Recently, I created a list of things I wanted to do: Go to my favorite cycling class at the gym. Finish all books sitting on my coffee table. Crack open my new cookbook for the first time. Volunteer at the library.

I’ve been between jobs for the last six weeks, so I’ve been taking advantage of the one thing that I have quite a bit of: time.

One morning, between rolling out of bed at 5am and giving myself a morning pep talk in the mirror, I realized that although my job paid the bills, it no longer excited or challenged me. So, I left. Looking back, I’m so thankful that I had the courage to let go. At the time it felt like the scariest thing I’d ever done. It also felt like the end of the world when I didn’t immediately find my dream job. In reality, it was the start of a new chapter of life that allowed me to discover the best version of myself.

Let me say upfront that I’m not delusional and I don’t intend to sugarcoat my experience. There have been days where I haven’t gotten out of my pajamas and have cried while binge watching hours of Netflix. I’ve felt defeated when people ask, “Haven’t you gotten a job yet?” And, on more than one occasion, I have even considered going back to the job that left me feeling drained and uninspired. But, for every day that I felt like giving up, there have been even more days filled with joy.

Money may offer us security, but no amount of money can buy us time. It took me leaving my job to realize how much I had been giving up, and that what I wanted most was time to do things that made me happy. In the past six weeks, I made my health a priority, took a vacation with my friends, enjoyed reading all those unfinished books, and yes, had the chance to catch up on my favorite TV shows, too. Best of all, I’ve learned a very important life lesson: Be patient with life and also with yourself.

I’m not  saying that you should quit your job, but making a list of the things you want to be a priority in your life may help you become closer to being a truly fulfilled and happy person. I suggest, at the very least, making a balanced work-life relationship a priority, and taking a mental health day every now and then. Most of all, do not be afraid to become a risk-taker and run full speed towards whatever you’re passionate about. You can always turn time into money, but not the other way around.

Unemployment may be a stressful situation, no one can argue with that, but it is in the face of stress that we grow and learn the most.

Letting myself enjoy the time I have been given has been a blessing I didn’t know I needed. Although I am lucky enough to have had the choice to leave my job, sometimes unemployment isn’t a choice, but rather an unavoidable circumstance. Loosing your job is a struggle that not everyone will relate to, but don’t loose faith in yourself.

Unemployment may be a stressful situation, no one can argue with that, but it is in the face of stress that we grow and learn the most. This phase of my life will soon pass, and I know with confidence that when it does, I will be able to look back and be proud and thankful that I was able to turn a stressful situation into one of growth and self-improvement.

Have you found joy unexpectedly during unemployment? How have you turned a season of stress into a time of triumph?

Image via Milena Mallory; Chaise by Living Room Home



7 comments

  1. I am currently unemployed. Thank you for writing this. It lifted my weary soul that’s been lingering for weeks. I agree with all that you said especially this – “You can always turn time into money, but not the other way around.” Time is indeed my current treasure. I get to spend lots of time with our pets, read new books, watch movies and help in the household chores. I believe all these are doing something good in me. 🙂

  2. I can relate to your sentiments – I recently followed my husband 5000km for his new job and I haven’t found anything for several months. I’m holding on to the hope of freelancing but I haven’t made any progress. Still, I take comfort in making our small apartment into a home and being thankful for the freedom to do so.

  3. Ummm hello?! This is perfect for me! At the end of this month I am packing up and heading west to follow the call to Colorado. I have no job and no definite plans, and I am terrified. I’ve been applying to jobs left and right, to no avail as of yet, but I fully expect to be unemployed for several weeks. I also expect that I will not find my dream job right off the bat and will likely learn the value of simply working in order to live. So far I have been pretty okay with that. I’ve been planning to do everything this post suggests in the between time, and it’s great to be validated by this! To just rest and be, and somehow have enough gas money to put put around town in the meantime, haha. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

    1. I’m so glad that you could be encouraged by this post! Sometimes finding rest, trying new things, and remembering to do the little things that bring you joy is exactly what you need! Colorado is an amazing place to live, I’m a Denverite, so enjoy your time exploring your new home while looking for work.

    2. I’m so glad that you could be encouraged by this post! Sometimes finding rest, trying new things, and remembering to do the little things that bring you joy is exactly what you need! Colorado is an amazing place to live, I’m a Denverite, so enjoy your time exploring your new home while looking for work.

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